Protests after Germany’s top court nixes Berlin rent cap

BERLIN (AP) — Thousands of Berliners have taken to the streets to protest a ruling by Germany’s highest court that a cap on rent prices implemented last year by Berlin’s left-wing state government is unconstitutional and void. The regulation meant that rents for some 90% of Berlin apartments were frozen at June 2019 rates for five years. The policy has caused havoc in Berlin’s housing market. Many landlords have included clauses in new contracts specifying that higher monthly rents would take effect retroactively if the cap were overturned. The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe voided it on Thursday, ruling that the rental cap was unconstitutional because housing policy is a federal responsibility in Germany.